Míla Fürstová – Part 2
Last year, Czech-British artist Míla Fürstová made international headlines for her design of the cover of Coldplay’s newest album, Ghost Stories – an etching of an angel’s wings over starry waters. Recently, the artist opened a new exhibition in the Czech Republic and was interviewed by Radio Prague’s editor-in-chief, Mirek Krupička. In Part 2 of our 2 part interview, he began by asking about Míla’s start in Great Britain.
And the big international artists?
“I do love Picasso. I love his etching and drawings. With drawing there is something else going on than in painting. You know, line doesn’t really exist in the world, does it? It is a sort of abstract concept. I think that line is very, very intimate, the same as your handwriting. It is very recognizable. Of course, Picasso was a genius, Hockney is a genius, I love German-American artist Kiki Smith, Tracey Emin is a conceptual artist but she does a lot of printmaking and etchings as well. It is such a joy in Britain that there are so many galleries now which are there for the public. The Tate Modern on the Thames is amazing… it is such joy that one can just lose one’s self in a gallery or whatever exhibit is on.”
Do you find the time, with the family, to see, to absorb a lot of art?
“That is a really poignant question, something I am trying to resolve. I actually quite a homely (or stay at home) person; I love the quiet time when I can work but I have my children nearby, when they are sleeping. But I also need times when I need to go out. In the Czech media people often think that I live in London, but we don’t. We live in the Cotswolds area which is a very beautiful, very traditional with old stone houses and lots of sheep. It is a very quiet part of the country. But I make regular trips to London.
How do you see yourself as an artist: British or Czech-born?
(mirthful) “As a human first… with a Czech heart. I always try for my work to be kind of universal and it has been a nice thing for me that people who have collected my work that the same things resonate with them,, the basic human experience. Great Britain is my home now but the Czech Republic is also my home. I am quite fluid between both of them, they both mean different things for me.”
What are some projects you are working on now?
“When my cooperation with Coldplay finished, I was approached to make a series of illustrations for a best-selling book series for young adults called Mortal Instruments and it is by Cassandra Clare. As I said before, as an artist I do not usually work for commission but I had had that experience of this dialogue, I imagined I would return back to my solo work through something like this. I am not an illustrator but it was always a dream for me to do something book-related. When I was the same age these readers are books were such an important part of my life and they still are. I don’t have as much time now because of everything, but books are important and I wanted to try something like this. So I did a series of illustrations for the book covers which have just been released and on the 17th of July we will have a launch in London with Cassandra Clare attending. So that is a small thing I have done.
Is there anything that you would like to add, which we didn’t cover?
“Um, I would like to thank all those who are looking, you know, at my art. I often feel that it really is through those who look at art, that it really gains its fulfillment. It is not just in the hands of the artist. It really is in the eye of the beholder. I am so grateful for it.
“Last week I flew with my young children from Britain and if you have small kids you know how exhausting that is. But we got into Prague and my father collected us at the airport. It was night and Dr Smolák said ‘Let’s go to the gallery’. So we went and they had installed everything without me and it looked wonderful. They really did a very, very good job in curating and in installation.